Cornelius Town Board approves alarm ordinance
by Staff Writer
Owners of an alarm will have to register their system with the town and pay $10 for a permit every year. Alarm owners 65 and older will have their permit fee waived.
Current alarm system owners will have until Jan. 1, 2013 to apply for and be issued an alarm permit.
Excerpts from Ordinance Chapter 99 “Alarm Systems”:
“Excessive false alarms. It is hereby found and determined that three or more false alarms within a permit year is excessive, constitutes a public nuisance, enforceable by an equitable action, and shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter. Civil penalties for false alarms within a permit year may be assessed against an alarm user as follows:
Third, fourth and fifth false alarms: $50
Sixth and seventh false alarms: $100
Eighth and ninth false alarms: $250
Tenth and over false alarms: $500
Discontinuance of law enforcement response.
The failure of an alarm user to make payment of any civil penalty(ies) assessed under this chapter within 30 days from the date of the invoice shall result in discontinuance of law enforcement response to alarm signals that may occur at the premises described in the alarm user's permit until payment is received. The Cornelius Police Department may in its discretion discontinue police responses to alarm signals from what appears to be a runaway alarm.
Alarm user awareness class.
The Town of Cornelius may create and implement an alarm user awareness class. The Town of Cornelius may request the assistance of the area alarm companies to assist in developing and implementing the class. The class shall inform alarm users of the problems created by false alarms and instruct alarm users how to help reduce false alarms.
Definition of a false alarm:
The activation of an alarm system through mechanical or electronic failure, malfunction, improper installation, or the negligence of the alarm user, his or her employees, or agents, and signals activated to summon law enforcement personnel unless the alarm user or his or her agent canceled law enforcement response before law enforcement personnel arrive at the alarm location. An alarm is false within the meaning of this chapter when, upon inspection by the Cornelius Police Department, evidence indicates that no unauthorized entry, robbery, or other such crime was committed or attempted in or on the premises that would have activated a properly functioning alarm system. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a false alarm shall not include an alarm that can reasonably be determined to have been caused or activated by unusually violent conditions of nature nor does it include other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm user. In addition, an alarm activated during an alarm system testing procedure shall not be considered a false alarm if the alarm user first notifies and receives permission from the user's alarm company, or designee, to test the system.